Winthrop University

Chair, Department of Design


Chair, Department of Design
College of Visual and Performing Arts, Winthrop University

Winthrop University, a highly ranked, public, comprehensive university, announces a national search for Chair of the Department of Design within the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The department houses B.F.A. degrees in Visual Communications (Graphic Design and Illustration) and Interior Design, and has initial plans to introduce other areas of design over the next few years, such as Experience, Product and Apparel Design. In conjunction with two other colleges, the department also offers a B.S. degree in Digital Information Design (Interactive Media concentration).

The chair serves as a member of the college administrative leadership team reporting to the dean, and works collaboratively with eight full-time department faculty, plus staff members and department chairs of Music, Theatre and Dance, and Fine Arts, to develop and implement strategic initiatives, curricula, and policies. This is a 10.5-month faculty appointment beginning either January or August 2020 with a teaching requirement and reassigned time granted for administrative responsibilities. The ideal candidate has a record of effective administrative leadership, excellent teaching, productive scholarship, and meaningful professional stewardship. Salary and rank are dependent upon qualifications. This is a tenure track position; however, tenure will be considered for candidates currently holding tenure from an accredited institution.

The university is seeking candidates with the following qualities and experiences: an obvious passion for design and commitment to excellence within the discipline; defining and implementing a strategic vision for design programs at Winthrop with the goal of enhancing its strengths and keeping it competitive with respect to today’s challenging academic climate; commitment to creating a culture of collaboration; the importance of the role of new technologies in the teaching and practice of design; the ability to bridge faculty and administrative roles and interests; experience with faculty development promoting teaching effectiveness and professional, creative, and scholarly activity; academic advising experience; and experience in program assessment, student and course assessment, and National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accreditation. Candidates should have the desire to lead and teach in an interdisciplinary, diverse, and highly collaborative undergraduate environment. Winthrop enrolls a diverse student body, which closely mirrors the racial and ethnic diversity in the state, and has recently received accolades for its success in graduating students of color.

Position Responsibilities

  • Serve as the senior academic and administrative officer for the department
  • Provide strategic and operational direction for the department
  • Manage departmental activities and programs
  • Recruit, mentor, and evaluate faculty members, adjunct instructors, and administrative support personnel
  • Develop and maintain existing relationships with design alumni and donors
  • Promote the program to internal and external audiences, potential students, potential donors, professional partners, and future employers
  • Develop course schedules for the department
  • Teach courses in areas of expertise
  • Engage in scholarly activity and professional stewardship
  • Serve on the College of Visual and Performing Arts Dean’s Council
  • Oversee curriculum development and program assessment
  • Manage the student advising process in collaboration with Student Services
  • Other duties as assigned by the Dean


  • Terminal professional degree in design (communication, graphic, interior, product, apparel, etc.), illustration, architecture, or a design-related discipline
  • Evidence of relevant administrative experience
  • A record of teaching, scholarship, and professional engagement
  • Minimum of 5-7 years teaching experience at the post-secondary level preferred
  • Substantial and/or highly regarded professional experience
  • Experience working collaboratively and effectively with faculty, students, administrators, staff, and external constituencies
  • Experience in curricula development and program assessment
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills
  • Experience with the standards of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)
  • Excellent leadership capabilities and supervisory skills

Application Instructions

Interested individuals are encouraged to submit their credentials as soon as possible for full consideration. Application review will begin on October 30, 2019. Applications received after this start of review may be considered if an acceptable candidate is not identified. Start date is August 1, 2020. (January 2020 start date is possible, depending on candidate availability.)

Complete applications should be submitted electronically at apply.interfolio.com/63262 and should include:

  • a cover letter addressing interest in and qualifications for the position
  • a current curriculum vitae
  • the candidate’s teaching and administrative philosophy
  • the names, email and phone numbers of three references familiar with the candidate’s qualifications
  • transcript and evidence of highest degree achieved (unofficial transcripts acceptable at this stage)
  • professional and student work examples (provide a URL or submit a PDF)

References will not be contacted without the candidate’s prior consent. All applications and nominations will be handled in confidence. Questions about the position and nominations should be directed to Dean Jeff Bellantoni: cvpadean@winthrop.edu.


About the College of Visual and Performing Arts
Winthrop University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) is the academic home to approximately 700 undergraduate and graduate students majoring in dance, design, studio arts, music, and theatre. The College currently employs over 55 full-time faculty as well as part-time lecturers, all practicing professionals from the surrounding metropolitan area. Winthrop is one of only 37 universities in the United States and the only public or private institution in South Carolina with all five of its undergraduate and graduate arts programs nationally accredited (NASAD, NAST, NASD, NASM and CIDA). In addition, Winthrop’s arts education programs in art, music, theatre, and dance are accredited through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Winthrop has partnered for over 30 years with the Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project, which provides leadership to achieve quality, comprehensive arts education (dance, music, media arts and design, theatre, visual arts and creative writing) for all K-12 students in South Carolina.The ABC Project is cooperatively directed by the South Carolina Arts Commission, the South Carolina Department of Education, and the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University. Learn more about ABC project at www.abcprojectsc.com.

For the 25th consecutive year, CVPA has welcomed gifted and talented students in grades 6-8 for an artistic summer filled with music, dance, design, drama and photography to participate in ST-ARTS, guiding students through the process of conceptualizing and creating art. The S.C. State Department of Education has cited Winthrop’s summer arts program as a model, and ST-ARTS was a 1993 nominee for the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award for excellence in arts education. Since its inception in 1989, the program has served more than 8,500 middle-school students.

About Winthrop University
Founded in 1886 and located in Rock Hill, South Carolina, Winthrop University offers its 6,000-plus undergraduate and graduate students an educational experience that blends liberal arts, professional programs, global awareness, and civic engagement. Having recently received national accolades for its diverse student body which closely mirrors the racial and ethnic diversity in the state and for its success in graduating students of color, Winthrop embraces only those programs and activities that can be delivered at an exemplary level through its degree-granting colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education, and Visual and Performing Arts. Winthrop is well known for its inclusive and supportive campus environment, with University College supporting programs in both academic and student affairs. Winthrop University is achieving national stature as a competitive and distinctive co-educational, public, residential, comprehensive, values-oriented institution. The values of service, excellence, diversity, community, and leadership provide the foundation for the University’s continuing development and shape Winthrop’s continuing success.

Numerous national accolades reflect the sustained high quality and value of the Winthrop Experience, including the most recent U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of Winthrop as one of the top-10 public comprehensive universities in the South. Winthrop is an active member of the Rock Hill community and is recognized as a key component of the region’s economic resurgence. Approximately 20 minutes from Charlotte, North Carolina, Winthrop has direct access to and is engaged in a broad and expansive regional arts and business community. Winthrop’s beautiful campus encompasses a rich architectural blend of neo-Georgian buildings and is included in the National Register of Historic Places. The attractive recreational and research complex area that surrounds Winthrop Lake is home to Winthrop’s 18 Division I men’s and women’s sports.

Winthrop is committed to providing a safe campus community. Winthrop conducts background investigations for applicants being considered for employment. Background investigations include reference checks, a criminal history record check, and when appropriate, a financial (credit) report or driving history check.

Education / Training

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